idiosyncrasies of progressive reloading


January 15, 2013, 03:21 PM
I've just recently set up a new Loadmaster and after a few bumps (press got whacked during delivery) I'm off to a pretty good start.

Though I've reloaded for some 5 years on an auto-indexing turret (cast iron Lee turret press) and feel like I know what I'm doing. I'm finding that progressive reloading is definately a different critter in many ways.

So I'd like to initiate this thread as a repository of collective tribal knowledge for the many idiosyncrasies of progressive reloading. Not really looking to debate whether progressive reloading is a good idea or not.... or debate equipment brands, models, etc.... (though certainly some tid-bits of knowledge will be specific to a given press).

Here's an opening salvo of things I've gleaned to date....

1. There's a lot to keep you eye on, but you MUST validate (either with a specialized tool, or your eyeball) that each case is charged before seating a bullet.

2. Advancing the press to rapidly can sling powder out of a charged case.

3. If you're using an automated case feeder, you really need to take the time to carefully inspect and cull what you feed into it. (that one .380 case will inject an unpleasant hiccup into your 9mm loading session)

Your contributions to the list are greatly appreciated.

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January 15, 2013, 04:40 PM
I prefer to separate the resizing process from the reloading process. I find I have more jams and stoppages in the resizing and priming area, which causes issues in the charging area, so if I separate the processes, the loading part goes smooth and quick.

I know I lose some raw production speed but I feel that my reduced speed and no stoppages more than make up for the production time lost clearing a jam.

I resize and clean cases shortly after shooting and store them for loading. Small batches go quick.

I still have plenty of production capacity. I have not loaded 45 ACP or 9x19 in over a year from the last loading sessions with those cartridges. I am about ready to gear up for a 45 ACP loading session to replenish my inventory.

January 15, 2013, 06:35 PM
The only process that I do progressively is powder charging and bullet seating. Sometimes I prime, charge, and seat the bullet at once. I never resize or crimp in the same process. I usually skip the crimp.
I usually resize the brass progressively and after another cleaning I seat the primers progressively,
I also use single stage for the larger stuff.

January 15, 2013, 07:25 PM
Wait till you run into a SP in the 45acp.

January 15, 2013, 07:58 PM
^ And that's why I started handpriming lol
LNL just wasn't happy with the priming step, and I can do small batches faster by breaking up resizing, priming, and the rest.

January 15, 2013, 08:13 PM
I prime by hand rather than on the press. There is less profanity that way.

January 15, 2013, 09:36 PM
Plus one for hand priming. Progressive reloading becomes almost trouble-free when the priming is done beforehand.

January 15, 2013, 09:53 PM
the priming system on my 550B works very well

January 16, 2013, 10:35 AM
So far, knock on wood, I have had no issues with priming on the LM. So I plan to keep running all 5 stations progressive.

One think I'm missing, is my Imperial Sizing die wax..... I love that stuff. But because I no longer hand feed each case, there's no opportunity to swipe every 10th pistol case (or so) with the wax. So I mixed up a tube of Lee case lube with denatured alchohol and used a spray bottle to lube ~150 cases in a zip lock bag. I can dump them onto a metal tray under a fan and their dry to the touch in about 10 minutes. This is working well enough, but I'd like to give One Shot a try, when I use all of this up.

So I guess that makes ....

4. Hand applied lubes are mostly incompatable with case feeders.

January 16, 2013, 12:16 PM
Changing from my Lee Classic Turret to a LnL AP a few months ago was somewhat a challenge. Most problems were with the primer feed. However, after 400/500 rounds that smoothed out. Haven't had a primer problem in a few thousand rounds. Besides, what I assume was some wearing in, I loosened the primer parts as recommended by several forum posters. I also finally learned to feel the primers in.
I use the RCBS powder-lock die, as well as looking at each powder dump before I set a bullet.
The most important thing I have found is that when something does go wrong, things can go to H*** in a hurry. I have found it best to just remove everything and start over, with one case in the appropriate station, then proceed from there.
I have never tried for speed, but I have no problem keeping up with my shooting.
I really like the LCT, but my shoulder really likes the 104 lever pulls better than the 400, per 100 rounds.
I only load handgun cartridges and have always used the LCT in auto-index and the LnL in full progressive except for a short initial learning period.

January 22, 2013, 01:43 PM
Well after completing about a half a dozen reloading sessions on the new Load Master, things are going quite well....

As I become attuned to the sounds the press makes, I'm able to identify little hiccups "by ear", where as I still can't distinguish which station is causing an abnormal "feel".

Specifically, I can hear when a case drops and feeds correctly, and when one is occasionally tipped over. I would very much like an ON/OFF gate for the Lee case feeder, and am hoping to improvise something for use .

My latest Progressive Press idiosyncrasy will probably sound like a "duh" comment... but here it is anyways...

5. Progressive presses are hungry beasts and quickly devour boxes of primers and bullets.

john wall
January 22, 2013, 01:56 PM

You are looking at Idiosyncrasies by the batch. Dillon says it takes about 20,000 rounds to get used to the 1050.

Even the Case Feeders must be secured and stabilized so they will feed properly.

Correct set up and maintenance are cardinal to running a progressive press and not using salty language.:D

January 22, 2013, 01:58 PM
Never, never, ever force the press....if it doesn't progress somewhat easily something is wrong....

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